Saturday, May 1, 2010
GET YOURSELF A COLLEGE GIRL
This movie was on a TCM Underground double feature with College Confidential. While College Confidential wasn't a great movie (see my review below: click here) it wasn't all that bad. However, I looked forward more to seeing this second feature, since I'm pretty sure I had seen it when I was younger. We didn't have music videos back in those dark days and unless you got to see rock acts live or on Ed Sullivan, you pretty much relied on teen movies that featured music to actually see the acts you heard on the radio.
Get Yourself A College Girl turned out to be a disaster of a movie. It had a plot similar to what you might have seen in later years on "Love American Style", but this movie wasn't up to the level of that TV series. Check out the trailer at the end of this post, as you can see they are much more interested in showing you what music acts will appear in the movie rather than very much about the plot.
The plot: It seems that Terry (Mary Ann Mobley) is secretly a successful pop songwriter, but she has kept this fact quiet at the exclusive girl's school she attends. When her publisher Gary Underwood (Chad Everett) unwittingly exposes her, the college is SHOCKED! This is where the movie started going downhill for me. It was 1964 and I find it hard to believe there would have been any such uproar. They acted like it was 1914 and good girls didn't write songs (especially songs that might have the word sex in them). A word about the song that she supposedly wrote (Get Yourself A College Girl), there's no way it was a pop or rock song, when it's later played in the movie as an instrumental it sounds like something from "Fiddler on The Roof".
Back to the plot, the girls are going on Christmas vacation at a ski lodge. Terry and her friend Sue Ann Mobley (Chris Noel - photo on left) plus their dance teacher, Marge Endicott (Joan O'Brien) all promise to stay away from men during the vacation, so they won't bring further disgrace on the school. (I guess I don't have to tell you how that works out.) Lynne (Nancy Sinatra) is also along for the trip to meet her husband, who she only sees a few times a year. A hard thing to keep straight with this group is that Joan O'Brien as the teacher doesn't look any older than the other actresses playing the students.
The grandson of the founder of the college Senator Hubert Morrison (Willard Waterman, best known as "The Great Gildersleeve") and his obviously gay assistant Gordon (James Millhollin) decide to check out the students on vacation. The Senator winds up "digging" the kids and dancing the Watusi (when he had seen the students dancing earlier, he had imagined them as African Natives dancing). His pants come loose, he gets photographed and is going to lose the election unless the kids rally around him. (If you can't guess the outcome, find out where you left your brain.)
While all of this is going on, Terry who hates Gary has a skiing accident and is stuck in the snow. Gary forces his kisses on her and they immediately fall in love. There's also another subplot about Sue Ann falling for a French painter. The only subplot that is fairly amusing is that Lynne (Nancy Sinatra) stays shacked up in her room with her husband. Every time they go by to check on her she is in a daze and has on a different nightie, it appears that she has been "screwed silly". That's the only explanation I can come up with for her dazed look, since I don't think they were in their room smoking weed.
The first couple of musical performances by The Dave Clark Five (“Whenever You're Around") and The Animals ("Blue Feeling") are pretty tepid; however, they both get to come back near the end of the movie with a couple of pretty good songs. The Standells (pre "Dirty Water") get to do a couple of songs (“Bony Maronie” and “The Swim) near the middle of the movie.
The best musical performances are both by jazz groups - Stan Getz with Astrud Gilberto doing "Girl From Ipanema" and The Jimmy Smith Trio doing "Johnny Come On Home". The movie also includes two oddball performances - The Rhythm Masters doing a hot Dixieland number ("Beat Street Rag") and then following their song performance with tap dancing (yes, tap dancing) and a Vegas Lounge Act - Freddie Bell and the Bellboys with Roberta Linn (“Talkin' About Love").
The Dave Clark Five come back near the end of the movie and have a much better performance with “Thinking of You". They're followed by The Animals also having their better performance with "Round and Round". I guess it goes without saying that all of these performances are lip sync. The strangest part of these performances was that both groups had to carry their equipment on stage before starting their songs.
Even though character actors Willard Waterman and James Millhollin both brought a little bit of zing to this otherwise dull movie and I was glad to catch most of the musical performances (the Freddie Bell and The Rhythm Masters were both so out of place they just made me laugh), I was still relieved to see "The End" on the screen and know that I would never have to see Get Yourself A College Girl Again.